Friday, 19 December 2008

A hidden theme in four parts

Lots to write about today, but not much time. Here are the topics. See if you can spot the connection:
  1. The myth of hollowing-out. Frank Furedi (see Tuesday's post) gave an interesting talk but I still see this as the main flaw in his argument. I have started to work on some more concrete theory to help quantify the contribution the knowledge economy makes to consumer benefit.
  2. Government intervention/rescue of businesses. Jaguar in particular - definitely a firm on the "productive" side of Furedi's distinction - is a candidate for some kind of financial assistance. Can government choose the right businesses to rescue or set specific criteria for doing so? What should it get in return?
  3. Zero interest rates. At some point it isn't the price of money that stops people borrowing or lending; it's the challenge of paying it back. What else can the state do other than print money?
  4. Related topic: what should people do with their fiscal stimulus? More to the point, what should government want them to do? Save, spend or invest? How can we encourage them to make the choice that's best for the economy?
That's probably enough for now. I'll be completing these posts over the next 12-15 hours and try to bring them together in a final recommendation after that.

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